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Theory and Research

- A systematic connection

Social anthropology
- Study of living human society and culture
- Approach: historical, comparative, HOLISTIC
- Goal: to understand (exotic) customs of unfamiliar people

How are theories on human behavior developed?


- By describing the other
- Why (do we have to describe the other?)
- ETHNOGRAPHY

Theorizing:
- Intellectual guess(ing) about human customs
- Why do people do certain things?

Questions:
- What is a theory?
- What is its significance?
- How is it related to research?

FOCUS of the discussion: the link or systematic connection between theory and research; to enhance the
goals of social sciences

Theory has something to do with what is, NOT what should be.

Theory
- Statement of how and why specific facts are related
- A statement that describes, explains or predicts how one thing causes another thing

* The world of ideas (implicit) theories and models

* The world of observation and experience research

Paradigm an articulated set of assumptions about the entities of which the universe is composed
Consists of different theories
Broader than theory
A general framework (would lead to) Provides a basic image of society that guides thinking and
research

Theoretical Orientation
- a framework (can provide us with)
- an explanation (so we can do)
- an interpretation (and gives us)

Why study theory?


- Theory is critical
o Data in and of themselves are meaningless (so we have to use a tool theory)
- There could be problems in differentiating meanings from other perspectives
o Look at it through the context in which the action occurs

Major functions of theory


- Tool used to give meaning to data
- Tool used to sort significant from meaningless information

*Relationship of theory and research is one of mutual contributions

Theory (function to research):


- Can point to areas in which research is likely to be fruitful
- Can summarize the findings of a number of specific studies
- Can provide a basis for explanation and prediction (because you have data that can be used as
evidences for that reality)

Research findings (function to theory):


- Can test theories which have been worked out
- Can clarify theoretical concepts
- Can suggest new theoretical formulations or extend old ones

Responsibilities of a researcher (to who?):


1. Generic/general responsibilities to the sciences
2. Social particular to it when you are in the social sciences
o The source of your info
o Your colleagues
o Society in general

Responsibilities of a researcher (what?):


1. Respect were dealing with people with feelings who are alive
o Ask permission
o Tell people involved about what your research is about
2. Maintain confidentiality especially when the topic is sensitive
o Related to respect
3. Correct misinformation the kind of data you are using should be accurate
o Using empirical evidence to correct misinformation
4. Have to be sensitive
o Be concerned about the possible adverse (negative) effects
5. Ensure the people you study would have access to the results of the research
6. Be sensitive about the needs of the funding agency